A ruptured disc, also known as a slipped disc or a herniated disc, can be extremely painful. Discs are circles of cartilage and other soft tissues that act as cushions and shock absorbers between vertebrae. In the center of each disc is a nucleus made up of gelatinous material. When cracks and fissures develop in the outer layers of the disc due to age, disease, or injury, the material from the center of the disc can protrude and press on spinal nerves, causing pain and discomfort. This tearing and leaking is what is called a ruptured disc.
There are a number of conservative treatments available to help treat ruptured discs and painful conditions that may result from disc herniation, such as sciatica. One of the more popular non-surgical options for resolving ruptured discs is chiropractic medicine.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine that aims to treat and prevent mechanical disorders within the musculoskeletal system. This is mainly accomplished by manipulating the patient’s spine, joints, and soft tissues in a process known as “chiropractic adjustment.” Chiropractic also often involves counseling on lifestyle, health, and exercise.
Although it has been practiced since the 1890s, chiropractic has often been regarded as somewhat controversial. Some medical professionals believe that chiropractic is not based on solid, evidence-based science, and some doctors are skeptical of the techniques used by chiropractors to achieve results.
How Chiropractors Treat Ruptured Discs
When a patient complains of back pain, a chiropractor will begin the diagnostic process by collecting a full medical history, and performing an examination to test reflexes, posture, and other orthopedic and neurological factors. X-rays or MRIs of the injured area may also be taken. All of this information is analyzed to determine if the patient has a ruptured disc.A common misconception of chiropractic care is that the chiropractor will attempt to forcibly “pop” a slipped or ruptured disc back into its proper position. This is not the case. The chiropractor will use a traditional adjustment is some cases, but with most disc conditions, a series of careful low-force techniques is used. The treatment program is administered over a period of time, with the patient’s reactions to the treatment often used to monitor the plan’s success and tailor future procedures accordingly.
It is important to keep in mind that chiropractic treatment may not be right for everyone. In certain cases, as when the ruptured disc has caused or is present concurrent with nerve damage, chiropractic care is contraindicated and should not be performed. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning to work with a chiropractor. Also keep in mind that chiropractic treatments will not “fix” or “cure” a ruptured disc, so temporary relief is often the only outcome.
If you suffer from ruptured discs and conservative treatments like chiropractic care do not work to relieve your back or neck pain, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our revolutionary minimally invasive procedures may be able to help you rediscover your life without back or neck pain.